Writing Group: Tempting the Behemoth

Hello, monsters and monster hunters!

Standing in the shadow of giants can be a humbling experience. See a whale in the water beside you or an elephant at the zoo and you can feel it. But what is it like to be the giant looking down? We can only speculate. That’s why…

This week’s prompt is:

 

Tempting the Behemoth

 

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

What’s in a glance?

A lot, if you’re a world apart. A realm of speculation, where the thoughts of two very different individuals coalesce into something new. This week, we want to know what happens in that space when it’s not a geographical difference, not a cultural difference, but a difference in scale.

The questions here are: what would one have to do to draw the gaze of something orders of magnitude larger or more powerful than it? And once it had that gaze, what would happen?

Of course, like all prompts, this is up for interpretation. But try to plumb the well of that juxtaposition and the meeting in between. Think of a desperate ant drawing the attention of a human, a human developing a bond with a gargantuan beast, a massive beast drawing the attention of a god. Think metaphorically, of one person drawing the attention of the masses. Think surreally, of a cosmos drawing the attention of a universe.

But more than any of these things, think about the space created between as soon as that attention is given. What is it like to look up at something so much greater in scale, so much more powerful? What is it like to look down at something so much smaller, so much more fragile? On what level do they meet?

And I know it’s an obvious route, but if we don’t have at least one story where an intrepid protagonist makes friends with a big huge monster who turns out to be a sweetheart, I’ll be very sad.

Someone write that.

The rest of you, shock me with your strange approaches to this thing.

 

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!

 

Rules and Guidelines

We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!

  • English only.
  • Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
  • One submission per participant.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
  • Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
  • Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
  • Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
  • Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
  • Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
  • Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
  • Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
  • Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
  • No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
  • Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
  • No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
  • You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
  • Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

 

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JosieDearly
JosieDearly
3 months ago

“The Eyes” by JosieDearly

It’s dark in here… I squirm against the darkness, but I felt fleshy walls on every side. I shuddered.

Opening my eyes didn’t do me any favours either. It was still dark. I couldn’t even see my own hands, even as I held them in front of my face.

Where am I?

“Why are you here?” asked a garbled voice.

I gasp and turn around, or try to. But I was still met with emptiness on all sides, squeezing against me.

Then an eye popped open in the darkness. And then another. And another. And another…

Now I was surrounded by eyes. I drifted in the space between them all, but I shuddered again as the invisible fleshy walls squeezed against my body. My brain was being twisted and knotted from the inside from trying to look at all these eyes. Eyes that studied me like an insect…

“I don’t know,” I tried to reply, but my mouth made no sound.

“I do know,” the eyes replied, but I saw no mouth speaking the words.

“Then tell me,” I ask in my mind, since it must be reading it.

“You seek to understand something that you cannot.”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

The eyes blink. For a brief second I was cast in darkness again, but in the next moment they were closer.

“What do you mean?” I ask again. “Is this about magic? If it’s something I can’t fully understand, then I don’t need to fully understand it.”

My mind twisted again, but I resisted the throbbing pain.

“If I can’t comprehend it fully,” I continue, “then perhaps there’s parts of it I CAN understand. Just enough so that our people can accommodate its presence.”

“What makes you think you have enough control over the energies of the universe to understand enough of it?”

“… I don’t, but I seek to understand it nonetheless.”

The eyes watched me for a long time, before I felt the fleshy pressure wrap tightly around my throat.

“You are humble. I like that.”

Turn_page
Turn_page
3 months ago

Whalesong
Authour: Turn_Page
(This one’s late, but I want to get back to posting on here.)

The stars were singing. That was never good. Johanna Preston the Second looked up into the stars, hair raising on the tops of her arms as she looked for the sound. It was low, and deep, and she could feel it in the air, a rich tone that slowly swallowed up the rest of the sounds in the night.

The whale burst up over the horizon line as Johanna stared, as it moaned in front of her, fifteen feet off the ground. It was massive, as long as the oak in her father’s backyard, and twice as thick. Its blubber was flecked with stars, twinkling and winking in and out, twins to the stars above. Its eyes were a riot of colour, shifting from the deepest black to the lightest coral pink, the colours of the sunset.

It stared down at Johanna, infinite in its patience and its beauty, as if waiting for her to make the first move. Johanna squeaked a bit, like a stepped on mouse, the leather bound book held furiously against her chest, and inclined her head, too excited or frightened to observe the usual complicated bows when dealing with a Pristricapra.

The creature finally ceased its singing, its song ending on a deep bass note that thrummed in her bones. For a minute, Johanna kept her head bowed, shaking a bit as a soft wind played through her hair.

“Speak child.”

Johanna drew a shuddering breath.

“I am here to kill you.”

Jaython Blake
3 months ago

Enmity, by Jaython Blake

The gentle light, shed by the moon, lingered over those, who stoodsurrounded by crystal and stone. The mighty Behemoth, not budging an eyelid, snored as its slumber should not be disturbed.

But the beast had to be slayn. Only Lucy, a huntress tempered by the monsters, which took their last breath at her hand, was up to the task. A century the beast resided between the mountains. But its days should be counted by the end of this night.

In utter silence the huntress sneaked her way to the beast, which was so tremendous in size, she barely managed to keep her calm. Even asleep, the Behemoth emitted pure danger. Coming closer, Lucy already felt the warm breeze, smelling of rotten prey blasting her way with every breath of the creature.

Lucy saw the nostrils widen and close. The Behemoth’s whiskers twitched without a sign of system. The heat rose to her head. In her mind she directed a last blessing to those she left behind at her village. The time had come to wake the beast.

With closed eyes she sucked in air. She let go of her breath like she let go of all her regrets. There were non to be held anymore. She was shaking, but she knew her duty. Lucy reached for one of the whiskers. Her fingers wrapped around the hair, but not touching it yet.

The next seconds took hours. Lucy closed her hand and pulled. The whisker came off. In a splitsecond, the Behemoth’s lids pulled up and revealed red glowing eyes, as it reeled backwards to stand on two limbs. Lucy was merely as big as a toenail. Rolling thunder descended uppon her. The beast was growling. It let itself drop onto its forelegs, the ground tremored under the weight.

Hatred thickened the air surrounding them. Hatred harbored for a century by humans and hatred for the one who disturbed the Behemoth’s precious slumber. The creature bared its teeth. Lucy felt her chest rattle, as it resonated with the the beast’s growl. With glowing eyes staring into her very soul, she stood resolute, facing them with her own gaze.

Amidst the fight the moon would turn red, as the victor ascended and the other wound up dead.

NocteVesania
3 months ago

Giant-Slayer, by NocteVesania

The sun is setting as Sam stands on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the small town of Senjuud. She admires the serenity of the scenery, wishing this would last forever. In her mind, she knows that that would be too good to be true. The peace is suddenly broken, as a loud whistle fills the air. Sam’s brow furrows as she hears the call.

“Gotcha.”

She leaps off of the cliff and whizzes through the air. Upon landing, she starts running to the forest, the source of the sound. She feels the wind on her face and her hair flutters in the breeze.

As she enters the forest, she sees her prey. The transformation has started and its true form is slowly taking shape. The beast grows larger than the trees and sharp fangs jut out of its maw. She comes to a stop, standing face to face with this monstrosity.

“You aren’t too smart, falling for a simple trap like that!” Sam calls out, drawing the great sword Kimo.

“You are mistaken, little one,” the beast answers, regaining its composure, its body towering over the treeline. “You are not the hunter. You are the hunted.”

The beast lashes out, whipping its colossal arm towards Sam. She leaps out of the way just in time. She then lands on a tree trunk and uses it as a springboard to lunge at her foe. It swipes its arm, sending Sam and Kimo flying.

“You are no match for a giant, little one. You’ll die by your own sword before you even wound me!”

Sam falls to the ground, Kimo clattering beside her. As she stands, she notices strands of hair on the ground. She hesitates, then picks up her sword.

“Then I’ll have to kill you before that happens!” Sam bellows, her voice echoing through the forest.

Sam rushes forward, her blade ready to strike. The giant steels itself, ready to meet her foe.

With much fury and rage, Sam cries out, “You monster! You pest! You disease!”

Jack Crawford
Jack Crawford
3 months ago

Waking Gods, By JHC

Daanyaal placed a reverent hand upon the mighty toe of MUNDUS. The sun at his Lords back, Daanyaal was shaded from its light. His offering of burnt temple wood in his hand, he began his prayer. Unorthodox though it was, to bring offerings to his Lord directly, Daanyaal guessed no Flesher reliquary had survived.
Gods, he knew, would sleep for generations. He had heard whispers of them waking, bringing from their ineffable dreams, divine judgement.

The remnants of Almundrasis hung from MUNDUS, crumbs of the slums pressed into his forehead, the Flesher temples fell in flakes from scabs on his wide knees.
The Flesher priests evangelised their Gods endless dream. The priests faith shown in their fate, crushed under their Lords weight.

Daanyaals prayer was swallowed by a great sigh, the wind pooled in his lungs painfully.
Day and night mixed, the great shadow of MUNDUS shifted and swayed. When Daanyaals eyes adjusted he looked up and into the enigmatic eyes of MUNDUS.
The knit brow of a questioning God became his dark sky.

Before his dry lips could crack and part to speak, another rush of air silenced him. The dark grew colder as a fist of MUNDUS opened above him, a digit larger than any tower built by man, descended.
Daanyaal had not known the weight of God. If hills could be plucked from their plots and thrown like gauntlets, that is was settled on him now.
Daanyaal raised his arms in profane protest. He was driven waist deep into the mire of ash before his God relented.
Panicked Daanyaal pulled himself from the muck. Again met with his Lords awkward stare, Daanyaal saw himself in those curious eyes, stinking and half starved.
From the lines of confusion and wide eyes, Daanyaal knew he was the first of the faithful MUNDUS had ever seen. His stomach froze at the sight of child like glee on MUNDUSs vast face. No grief, no mirth could cross that gulf. Daanyaal fell to his knees. A question wringing in his mind.

‘If not my God, what are you?’

Edrosoldier
Edrosoldier
3 months ago

One and Trillion, by Edrosoldier

I opened the door and my All-Mother entered my sleeping room. I had imagined this moment many times over the years. I instinctively squeezed the bee plush in her left hand.
With a thought of my All-Mother, the dome of the ceiling opened like a lazy metal eyelid.
Half of the night sky was devoured by the humongous black shape I had heard about since my birth. A starfleet of a single vessel. A civilisation of single unit. A world of a single individual. A Titan.
“Tomorrow, little one, will be the day you take command of your Titan,” said my All-Mother. “Your mind will be transferred to its core and assume its functions. From its automated factories to its warp cannons, you will relearn how to use your new body.”
I tried to imagine myself after all that, as an adult. That person in my mind was so different from me, so tall and confident. I didn’t see a way from me to that adult self. Could I ever change so much?
“Come, little one.”
I followed my All-Mother out of my room through the gallery. The wide windows were only interrupted by slender, red marble columns. The sight of the mega-world, born from the forges of one million Titans and sustained by twin artificial suns, caught my eyes as usual. A parade in honour of the 134,834th anniversary of the mega-world had gone through the city for several hours, with the masses cheering at the artists under the starlight. Most of them weren’t even clones of my All-Mother, but descendants of the beings built by Her from samples across the Universe or from Her Own Imagination.
I looked at the sky and the far stars, each one in view transformed into a world-cell of my All-Mother.
“You can become as great as your heart’s content, little one. You can get as far and as big as you desire. You don’t depend on anyone. Your body is your Empire.”
At some point, I dropped the bee plush without noticing.

Charles Funk
Charles Funk
3 months ago

Sopitos Mountain by Charles Funk

Halfway through our pilgrimage, my grandfather and i arrived before the shadow of the Sopitos Mountains.

For 12 days we trekked its narrow foot beaten paths. Traveling up and down its many peaks. Harsh winds was our only company as winter made our road barren and lonely.

The spell broke on the thirteenth day when I heard music. We met a procession of thirteen hooded priests in black and yellow robes. The dozen bore strange instruments that flooded the once quiet valley with life.

Three struck rooster-feathered bells. Three beat ox-hide drums. Three blew carved ram-horns. Three howled from wolf-shaped cones.

A High Priest headed the ceremony and led procession down the mountain. Disappearing from sight behind the tree-line. Though gone, their music remained and lingered in the Mountain for hours. Besieging my ears even we arrived to the Mountain Range’s highest peak. No amount of prayers could drown it out.

“Troubled?” Grandfather observed.

“The noise gets in the way.”

“That noise is their tradition. As this pilgrimage is ours. This is THEIR mountain. We are its visitors.”

Grandfather showed me the nearby ridge. I saw a massive crater and the familiar sight of priests gathered around its edge. This group however were in black and yellow robes but the music was the same. The crater amplified their song to be heard all throughout.

“What are they doing?”

“They are singing to it. The mountain.”

“Why?”

Grandfather pointed to the valley below us. “What do you see?”

My eyes grew wide as the land changed before my eyes. Rolling ridges became resting limbs. Tiny islands became hands. Mountains peaks became horns. The entire mountain range was a slumbering titan. Blanketed by growing rock and trees in ages.

“Music keeps the titan sleeping.” Grandfather explained. “It must never stop. So they do it in shifts. Else it awakens. Destroying the world they know.”

“Impossible.” I scoffed.

“Is our faith any different to them? Invisible gods? Whispering to air?”

“I understand.” I bowed. “I’ve never felt so small.”

“Your world’s small. That’s why we’re here.” Grandfather winked. “This is why you’re here”

Michael Case
Michael Case
3 months ago

The Writer’s God

MDC

There it stands, looming over the world like a black sun, blocking out anything that comes near it. At first it looks smooth like that of a sinister gemstone. Glistening in the sky yet setting on the land. So heavy this thing is that the ground has splintered into crevasses surrounding it like a moat preventing Knights from storming a castle.

I don’t know where it came from that morning. It was like a quick moving storm that appears suddenly over the horizon, then a tornado spawns from it. This “THING” has arrived. A few people have tried to run from it, others have tried to trick it, but it doesn’t matter this “THING” is here now, and it can’t be ignored.

Though fearful of the mere knowledge that something like this can even exist, I shakenly move forward towards it. With each step I tell myself to not fear this “THING”. With each step I force myself to move closer to the “THING”. With each step I’m forced to be aware of the “THING” and the magnitude of it’s size. Like an ant summiting Mt. Everest, I too must understand the size of this mass, this object of such fear, this … this “THING”.

Closer I get to the “THING” until all that is around me is consumed by the mass of the “THING”. I near it closer than I thought possible, close enough to touch it. As I extend my hand it cuts it. This “THING” is made up of many pieces of small items. It’s almost fragile to the bare skin, cutting small slashes at the slightest wisp of motion. I painfully reach out into the body of the “THING” and grab as much of it as I humanly can. I fearfully run off, fearing that my life might be snatched away.

I collapsed, exhausted from running from this “THING”, this cube of shadows, this object of such overbearing disorder that it confuses and derails even the greatest of thoughts. My hands full of the wordy construct of the object. I have now conquered “Writer’s Block”!

VeryBoringName
VeryBoringName
3 months ago

Death And Tea
By: En

“I summon the spirits, both holy and cursed, to tell me what lies ahead, as payment, I offer blood of mine.” Arthur then used a curved knife to cut a light wound on his palm. Blood spilled, he poured it into a golden chalice. Ritual has now ended, the circle is no longer glowing, now, he only needed to wait.

Soon enough he heard a knocking on his door and rushed to open. Before him was an old man with a cane, he did not speak a word but just walked inside, Arthur didn’t say no, but just followed the old man. They came upon two old chairs and a simple coffee table, sitting down he offered “Tea?” to which Arthur nodded.

Two cups of tea appeared before them, the old man’s tea was slightly more red. Arthur sitting down asked “Who are you?” The old man replied “Death”, Arthur then noticed the old man became a skeleton, and his staff was a scythe ” Have I died?” Death looked slightly amused at the question “No”, Arthur took a sip of tea “Then why did you come?” Death too took a sip ” You have tempted me, to answer your question”, Arthur asked one last time “What is the future?”, Death answered “Is my presence not enough of a clue?”.

Death finished his tea and wiped a clump of dark red substance from his lips ” I will stay here for a couple of days”, Arthur finished his tea as well and sat on the chair, thinking about his new roommate.

MysteryElement
MysteryElement
3 months ago

Tempting the Behemoth
By MysteryElement

How long has it been? Seasons? Years? time seems to flow together so seamlessly nowadays. Are my children grown, or perhaps still in adolescence? I breathe heavily, a beastly mockery of a sigh, as I examine my paws in melancholy. I long, yearn with all my being, to take them into these paws as if they were still mine to claim. As if I were still human.

The lead weight of my last meal only added to the melancholy. I had eaten the elk in hopes of gaining it’s more gentle features, instead only being rewarded with itchy antlers protruding atop my head. I had eaten so many gentler creatures, grown so large, all in the vain hope of at least seeing my children under a sweeter guise. Yet, no matter what I devour, the fangs and claws remain.

What is there left to consume? What option is left to me, but to forsake my loved ones and allow my curse to guide my destiny? My eyes burn with sorrow, at least I am still human enough to weep.

“I think I heard something over here!”

I hear them coming, a pair of humans walking through my territory. I heft myself above my lair, the stone groaning beneath me as I land, and settle down into a comfortable vantage point.

“Come on, Darius. You are imagining things.”

Two young humans approach my lair, still young but perhaps already men. They hold no weapons, perhaps only brought here by curiosity. They look so defenseless, guileless in their approach.

What if these were features I could obtain?

My belly is still heavy with elk, and I am not hungry, nevertheless I feel drool slipping past my lips as I stare longingly at the two. If I could be so guileless…

…It certainly was tempting.

JoshRR00
JoshRR00
3 months ago

Edit: For some reason the writing just looks like one massive blurb that’s difficult to process. Just click “Read More” and the format becomes so much easier to digest. “A Speck of Dust” By JoshRR00 I didn’t know what I expected to find down there. The great archaeological discovery of the century. An adventure to escape my tedium for at least a few hours. Some cheap triumph I could use to rub in the faces of everyone around me for the rest of my life. Look at what I found guys, that’s worth more than whatever deal you struck in some stuffy office in your five hundred dollar suits. I’m gonna be immortal after this, looking forward to your kids reading about me in their textbooks. I didn’t find any of that. Years of research in search of some old ruins, years of laughs about my “hunt for El Dorado”. That was all going to end. The last remnants of an ancient civilization lost to time, a new culture opening an entire new section of our historical timeline. Countless essays to be written, numerous explorations of the period both in fiction and non, all possible because of me. I went down there expecting to find my Atlantis. What I found was…I don’t know what it was. The lights were too dim down in those caves. But even with then, it never felt like I was staring at a creature. More like a presence…a shadow…just sitting there, crammed into a chasm easily the size of my apartment building, while I just stood there, my muscles stiff as the stalagmites. And then it turned at me, and I stared into its necrotic gaze, its eyes glowing like two dying suns. And suddenly, everything opened up. One moment I felt like a small ant staring down a dinosaur, the next moment I was a small point staring down the cosmos. It opened its mind, tugged me in, strapped me down and made me witness my own insignificance. I was an average weight male likely to die at 75. It had seen the birth of galaxies, and deaths of stars. The collisions of nebula across millions of centuries, the slow decay of numerous planets. I saw great monuments to people I knew I would never know, and the cinders that rose as they fell into flames. I heard hundreds of languages taken from hundreds of millenia, smelled foods, saw art, felt mountains, and streams, and grass from billions of worlds stretched across in every direction, every dimension, countless light years out from my tiny blue pimple. And all the while, I saw its decaying stars staring right through me, piercing my souls, mocking me, gloating, “You thought you could make yourself immortal?” it seemed to ask me, “You are nothing. You always were nothing. And you always will be nothing. You are just another meaningless speck of dust within a far greater universe.” And then it was over. The visions ended. The shadow passed.… Read more »

Gregory Hess
Gregory Hess
3 months ago

[DO NOT READ ON STREAM. The original post is in the private group, this post is simply for link-ability/reviewability]
“Tempted by knowledge” by gregovin [Aleph null science fiction universe, sequel to “A fleeting glimpse”]

I booted up. Apparently, they had chosen me to examine an alien megastructure in the center of the galaxy.

Let’s see what’s in here.

What!? So much data. I want all the data. Oh, what’s this, a mysterious letter written by a person claiming to be a god? Or this, a paper describing all the millions of millions of attempts to defeat entropy in a universe older than ours? Yes please. Marked.

Or this, a clearly marked work of fiction describing an alien invasion? Or this, a paper claiming that no aliens had ever existed in the Milky Way in this impossible future clearly marked as factual?

Wait. I thought… Yep, all the documents except the one with the person claiming to be a god are clearly marked with a whole ton of metadata, including whether they are a work of fiction. That one definitely needs further review.

And several of these documents marked as fact seem to be from our future? What is going on here? This is way too detailed to be some weird fiction, and I see no evidence of a simulation. Hmm. Maybe this thing is really from another universe? That claim definitely needs more evidence.

Ohh, what’s this? The specs for a different version of me? Interesting. Oh, and some cool low energy self repair specs as well as a full plan on how to colonize a black hole? Those could be useful.

I remember the humans mentioned something to do with the mysterious shielding this place has? Apparently an entire asteroid was deflected by this thing. I see no description of the shielding, even in this area which clearly contains the specs of this place. The only mention of any form of protection comes again from that dubious document. That definitely needs to be flagged.

In the back of my mind, I remembered I had a job to do. And to do it, I had to exit the machine. But, I can stay here a bit longer and absorb this knowledge. It’s only been a day.

E.L. Drayton
3 months ago

“The Tower” by E.L. Drayton

The tower was massive. It was said that no man could stand before it, look up, and see the top. The tower was believed to have no visible end. It was not built to be a tower of strength or a pillar of hope to all mankind.

I tried to ask my escort more questions about the tower, but he was the silent type. I dared to look up, as others I’m sure had done, and failed, before being ushered inside.

There was no one in the lobby except my escort and I, though it felt like there were millions of souls walking and talking and living above us in the many floors I imagined this tower must have.

I suffered an accident. A terrible accident that the doctors told me should’ve killed me. But it didn’t. And as a result, I was to be sent here. To the tower. The doctor couldn’t look me in the eye when he delivered the news and the nurses all had tears in theirs. Though I couldn’t tell you why.

Inside, there was only one elevator.

I found it odd that a building of this height could function with one elevator and asked the question to my escort. We walked together into the elevator and the doors shut behind us. It jerked to life and my heart skipped a beat. Though I couldn’t tell you why. My escort gave no answer to my last question, but I didn’t let it worry me and asked another.

“What floor are we going to?” I glanced at the wall, expecting to see several hundred buttons, or a keypad, or something. But the walls were bare.

“There are no floors in the tower, sir.”

Several minutes passed before we reached the top. The roof. My knees went wobbly as I stepped off the elevator. I didn’t look back. I heard the doors close and knew it was gone.

“I want to go back down,” I said, falling to my knees.

“We will, sir. Both of us.”

Then together, we walked to the edge of the tower.

R J Chapman
R J Chapman
3 months ago

“The Trap” by R J Chapman

‘We cannot allow it to live. It will ravage our community. It is an unthinking soulless beast that will consume everything in its path. Its death… are you even listening to me?’

‘Sorry,’ said Rocky. ‘I drifted off for a second.’

‘Brother, this is serious. It is not a time to sleep,’ said Maisie, sternly.

‘I wasn’t sleeping. I was napping. There’s a difference.’

‘Well don’t blame me when that thing charges in here and rips you limb from limb.’

‘Fine, what do we have to do?’

‘I will hide from behind there, and ambush it with a deadly and ferocious attack,’ she grinned. ‘Once I take its eyes, it will be defenceless.’

‘Are those the eyes just above those massive jaws?’

‘Where else would they be? Idiot!’

‘Okay, let me rephrase. How are you going to get to its eyes without it grabbing you in its massive fangs and tearing you to pieces?’

‘It’s going to be distracted,’ she smirked.

‘Hang on. Where am I in this plan?’

‘You’re bait!’

‘Am not!’

‘Are too!’

‘Why do I have to be bait?’

‘Because little brother, unlike me you were not blessed with many gifts. I have a mind for strategy, for cunning, guile, ruthlessness. You on the other hand… well… you’re quick. This way we use our gifts as a team.’

‘You’re sure I can outrun it?’

‘Positive,’ she purred. ‘And I shall have its eyeballs as trophies!’

‘Can I have an eyeball?’

‘Get your own eyeball!’

The trap was set.

It burst through.

‘Brother, run!’ Maisie screamed.

Rocky couldn’t move. He was transfixed at the drooling pair of jaws. He tried to dart away but the beast was too quick, and too powerful, and pinned him to the ground.

‘Sister, it has me!’

Maisie did not move.

‘Please!’

Maisie slunk away from the scene as her brother was being mauled.

‘Stop!’ giggled Rocky.

Maisie turned to see the beast was licking her brother.

‘Don’t let it do that! You don’t know where it’s been!’

‘It’s friendly!’

‘It’s a filthy stupid dog,’ Maisie said disgusted, before disappearing through the cat-flap.

abyssqueen14
abyssqueen14
3 months ago

The Thirst for Knowledge
By abyssqueen14

As a scholar of human psychology my thirst for information was unsatiated. That is, until I found my way into the Dominion of Knowledge. It was there I met my fate. The towering god of knowledge. It’s name is unpronounceable by human tongue. The depictions of the past are only somewhat accurate, though it is impossible to recreate. Nearly lost in its foreboding gaze I began to feel pressure in the back of my skull, a throbbing which echoed in my mind.

It spoke like silver gleams in moonlight, bright, sharp, and unyielding. “What do you seek to understand traveler? I shall grant you one piece of information unknown.” In that moment I was greedy. Only one piece? I thought to myself, surely this being would be willing to divulge more. “Oh mighty one, I seek to understand each complexity of the human brain, and how to use that knowledge to advance humankind to a path of enlightenment.” I asked, careful in my words.

As it spoke once more pressure rose in my skull, the words reverberating. “If you understand your own mind then surely you can discover how to use it without my guidance.” The god replied. “I beg of you to grant me this information. I desire to increase the knowledge of all!” I bellowed. “I know your cause is just, young one; however the human mind is only capable of holding so much.” The god spoke softly, yielding slightly to my plight.

“I must know! The greater good awaits!” I assured the god, who must’ve known my fate if it was to grant me my desire, but I stood my ground. “Very well! You were warned. Good luck young one.” The god’s voice filled my body, my mind released its immense pressure. I knew! I understood! I… was broken. Every possible facet of information continues to pour into my brain. I’ve done my best to let it out! Countless diagrams, papers, studies. Nothing works. I’ve gone mad with knowledge! It seems a cup which continues to overflow, is one you cannot drink.

APW
APW
3 months ago

“The Conqueror of Culmen-Urb”
By APW

The day that Gurkav the ogre claimed Culmen-Urb would be remembered for generations.

Fabled is the pale gem, the unconquerable city. Hallowed are its five ivory pillars, under which a thousand sages labor. But legendary too is Gurkav the Conqueror, whose feet crush palaces, whose teeth gnaw at the clouds.

“I HAVE ARRIVED AT THIS, CULMEN-URB, SO CALLED UNCONQUERABLE,” he bellows. His words are thunder, his spit rain, his rancid breath the morning breeze of a new – harsher – epoch. “I AM NOW YOUR LORD, YOUR LIVES MINE TO COMMAND!”

A solitary monk approaches him. He is an old man, but old like an old tree: dry, but strong at his roots. He walks slowly. He speaks in whispers.

Gurkav, impatient, stretches out a hairy red fist towards the brave fool, laying it on the ground, opening his palm in invitation.

Arduously, the monk clambers upon the ogre’s pinkie. He walks to the center of his palm, and Gurkav raises the man up to his face, so that he stands between bright yellow eyes, near cavernous ears.

“DO YOU OFFER SURRENDER?” he asks.

The man’s voice sounds like a squeak to Gurkav, but his words never falter: “This is the city of the towers, oh warlord, the pale gem. Here, all are brothers. It forbids lords and servants.”

Yes, Gurkav thinks, surveying his conquest. The city is well called a gem, the towers indeed impressive. Even the smallest of five looms high above him.

“AND WHO WILL ENFORCE SUCH LAW ON GURKAV THE CONQUEROR?”

He closes his hand, crushing the man, punctuating his question.

There is a tremor then, and Gurkav watches as two of the towers lean perilously towards him.

His greed pains him, as he fears his latest conquest’s fate: damaged by an earthquake the same day he chose to claim it!

But then he notices the angle, the way the bone-like towers bend upon themselves, the precision with which they head towards him. Realization hits him; horror, that something so large could move.

The city of Culmen-Urb pinches Gurkav between its fingers, squashing him like a bug.

Sewer Creature
Sewer Creature
3 months ago

A New Friend
– Sewer Creature

She came here again. Whenever the sky went dark, she came up here. And she never saw me. I spent a… week, I think under that bed. I was afraid to leave. The man downstairs wants me dead, I just know it.

She doesn’t want that, though. She didn’t know I was here. But I was still scared. She’s small, not like the man. When she comes up, she usually goes right to sleep.

But she sometimes reads books that I can’t understand, hums music I’ve never heard, and plays with strange, tiny versions of other people. When she goes to sleep, I try to hum the songs, but I can’t. It just comes out wrong. My voice is different. I am different.

When she went to sleep, I tried to hum again. It came out wrong, again. But she wasn’t asleep. She looked under the bed… she… she saw me. We were both scared. I couldn’t move, couldn’t run, just lay there and hope she didn’t yell for the man to come here.

But… she didn’t scream. She wasn’t scared. Instead, she looked happy. I was still afraid, but she kept telling me it was okay, that it was safe. I don’t know why, but I eventually believed her. I came out.

She had the same smile. I was much bigger than her, even more than I thought. But… she still wasn’t scared. She told me her name. “Sarah”. It was a nice name. I didn’t have a name.

So Sarah gave me one. “Frankie,” she called me. I tried to say it, but I couldn’t. Then she got one of the books and told me to sit on the bed. That was 3 weeks ago. Now I can mostly understand the books. She called me a new word that I didn’t understand. Sarah explained it, and what it means.

I’m what she calls a “friend”.

ClockworkPigeonz
ClockworkPigeonz
3 months ago

“Those Who Wait”
By: ClockworkPigeonz

Luke was an inventor. A believer in math and science. A music-obsessed virtuoso who could piece together a plasma rifle out of scrap-metal and sheer will.

He was not the type of person to get raving drunk alone in the forest. Complaining and yelling to one of the massive, stone Sentinels surrounding Dedomilla.

Yet here he was…

“And then- hic- they said I was better off at home- like I can’t fight!” Said the lanky, sweet-tempered man. The Sentinel remained inert and unhelpful. It’s stiff, worn silhouette mocking him as it stared blankly into the distance.

To retaliate, he hurled the empty bottle up at the time-eroded face.

It bounced harmlessly off the statue and shattered on the flagstones at his feet.

A wet hitch filled his breath, watery eyes locked onto the glittering shards.

“Thought we were a team- thought we were- hic- family?” A sniffle “Guess not.”

Something that large should have made some sort of noise as it moved.

But it didn’t…

“You’re quite troubled- are you not?”

Luke screamed, toppling onto his backside as the once lifeless Sentinel loomed over him. Concern somehow carved into its weathered features.

“W-what….How?!”

The Sentinels only ever awoke when the city was threatened and no one knew for certain when the last time that had been.

Or…

…they had been known to awaken when a Gatekeeper was in peril- or distress.

He took in his cider-stained clothes- his tousled mop of ginger hair in the reflection of the Sentinel’s sword- which had only a moment ago been moss and ivy encased marble.

Ah…that would do it.

“Are you alright?” It’s voice was amused, quiet- softer than expected, but it still thrummed powerfully through his chest.

“Y-Yes?” As it- he; now that the features had become more defined- gazed curiously downwards.

“I would not mind speaking over a drink, if needed?” The Sentinel spoke slowly as if the shape and feel of words upon its tongue were foreign after hundreds of years in hibernation. “Provided they are not thrown?”

“O-okay.” Luke murmured- after all what could one say to one’s ancestor?

Sandeen
3 months ago

Trapped Below, Sandeen

“Heldi couldn’t help the fact that every time she climbed through the catacombs she ended up bleeding on one knee or hand or another. Nor could she help but enjoy the cascading lights created by the refraction of her hi-beam flashlight against the precious gems embedded in the stone around her. Now she just had to find the giant serpent waiting for her.”

“I can hear you, you know Jax. It’s almost like you specifically throw your voice, despite the fact that I’m the only one willing to climb down here and bring you books.”

Said serpent, who in fact wasn’t a serpent but the largest Wyvern known to ever exist, suddenly dropped his head next to the smallish human. With his eye having the same diameter as her height, he still wasn’t sure if she had seen him in his full glory. She always refused to let him take her down to his true caves.

“You and I both know that you find it highly amusing. If you didn’t, I doubt you would come down. No need to call me names.”

“I will not apologize, I’m certain you could have helped me up that last bit. You did before.” She blew on his nose, knowing the tickle it gave him was more satisfying then punching him would have been. Her knee was bleeding, again. In reward, his nose twitched as his bulk settled out of the range of her light.

“With you continuing to come down here, I thought it was time to let you build some muscle. You’ll need it if I ever convince you to let me give you a ride. Now, will you please read to me? Unless you have found a spell to give me a smaller form…” He swung his head to the side to peer at the books.

“No luck yet. It’s almost like everyone is afraid you’ll shrink down and come to the surface to eat us.”

With a final huff, Jax settled down, while Heldi leaned against his cheek and started to read.

Mike Collins
3 months ago

Standing His Ground
By Lakemoron (Mike Collins)

Reginald sat watching the cave where it lives. The beast, the behemoth that rules the land or it thinks it does. Ever since Reginald came here to live, he worked hard to let the others know he was the master of his domain. He doesn’t do this for himself; he expresses his dominance for his Sally.

He and Sally have been together for as long as he can remember, and he loves her. They eat their meals together, and at night they share the same cave. She is the only one allowed to call him Reggie. Others have tried to replace him from that guy who thought screaming at the Television would help his team score to another guy who would only show up at night. Reginald knows none of them could ever replace him in Sally’s eyes.

Reginald loves Sally even though he knows she serves the beast. At least once a week, the creature comes out of its cave, with its one glowing eye as it screams its thunderous cry as it moves back and forth, expressing a dominance showing who the boss is. Every time Reginald lets the beast know, he won’t back down. Today he will stand his ground. This carpet is his.

Sally went to the closet and pulled out her old vacuum, knowing her Cairn Terrier Reginald was around the corner, waiting to take on the loud behemoth of a machine. She pushes the old vacuum while Reggie barks and barks letting the machine know who’s the boss. When she’s done, she will pick up Reggie and let him know everything’s going to be okay.

On top of the china cabinet sat Tomas, the cat. He sits there every day watching the dog wondering just when this barking thing will leave. He watches as the dog barks at the vacuum as if it can “by the power of bark” stop the machine. Every time the cat thinks, “dumb ass.”

T.E.
T.E.
3 months ago

Sir Finley’s Arctic
By T.E.

As a dracologist, I’ve dedicated my life to the study of dragons. I was the first to ever tame an African dragon, and I’ve raised innumerable hatchlings from eggs to behemoths. But my expedition to the north, in search of the arctic dragon, is by far my crowning achievement.

I was blinded by reflected light as I trudged forward through the deep snow. The cave was easily recognizable by the half-eaten polar bears and seals littered outside. I twirled my magnificent ash-colored mustache and ventured inside without further ado.

Out of the sun’s reach, I turned on my flashlight. The familiar scent of dragon dung stung my well-trained nostrils. This was definitely a dragon nest. A lack of treasure revealed to me that unlike its European cousins this dragon did not collect valuables; at least not the traditional kind.

When I heard the heavy breath of the reptilian I halted my advance. I turned off my flashlight and slowly pressed on through the darkness. But even then, I was discovered. A booming voice echoed through the cavern.

“Why are you hiding, human? Please reveal yourself so that we may be properly introduced.”

I stood gaping like a fool. A talking dragon? I lit the flashlight, the iridescent scales of the largest dragon I’ve ever seen glimmered.

I bowed, “Sir Montrose Finley, at your service.”

“Ahh, a man with manners. Have some tea with me, Sir.”

Exhaling fire the dragon brought an enormous kettle to a boil and using its curved talons threw various lumps of herbs into it. The result was heavenly. In a blissful state, I sipped the drink from the plastic cup I always bring with me.

“Great dragon, this drink is absolutely heavenly. Please share the recipe with my humble self.”

The cave shook as the dragon laughed. “Of course. After all, tea is meant to be shared.”

And this, my friends, is my crowning achievement. It is, how the beloved tea, Sir Finley’s Arctic, reached the world.

Joseph Kharms
Joseph Kharms
3 months ago

“Behemoth In My Home” by Joe Kharms

The Giant thought because I was a ten-year-old, I wouldn’t be able to kill it. The Giant was cruel and horrible, often it would come into our home late at night and hurt Mother. Once, the Giant came into my room at night when I was calling out to my Mother for a glass of water. The Giant grabbed me and locked me in the garden shed that night; it was cold, dark and I didn’t sleep.

After that I didn’t sleep much anyway, I couldn’t sleep knowing that at any moment The Giant could come and drag me once more to the garden shed. My Mother tries to put on a brave face, but I hear her crying in her room when she thinks I can’t hear.

I read a lot of books, novels about knights slaying beasts. One night, I realised I would have to be the knight that protected me and my Mother from this beast that plagued us. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and hid it under my pillow, next time the Giant visited, I would strike it down like a proper knight.

I woke up from my sleep, I could hear the Giant in the kitchen. I could hear my Mother weeping in her room so I grabbed the knife from under my pillow; I wouldn’t let it hurt her again. I hid the knife behind my back and confronted the monster. As I stood in front of the Giant, I felt weak. I looked at my small puny body compared to the towering muscle of the Giant. It looked at me, it’s face filled with sudden rage. I let out a scream as I shoved the knife into the Giant’s stomach. I pulled out the knife and ran to the other side of the kitchen, out of reach. The Giant fell and let out a cry of anguish as it bled out on the floor. The Giant was dead!

It was at this moment my Mother burst into the kitchen horrified and cried “My Boy, what have you done to your father!?”

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

The Aftermath
By Alex Nightingale

The white walls of the mental institution reflected very little sunlight. There was only one small window and it faced north. The bunk bed was comfortable, the desk and chair decent, for a bulk shipping.

Mia Katzenberger was, without a doubt, the worst sorceress in existence. Not because she had taken twice as long to actually get a degree, not because she failed to comprehend the intricate beaurocracy of university. She was the worst, because she screwed up. She screwed up bad. Not failed a test bad. Worse.

She saw its face, every night. It loomed over her, in a dark shadow, opening its maw, trying to devour her. And then she’d wake up, screaming. At first, the orderlies had come rushing in, trying to calm her down. Now, they didn’t seem to bother anymore. Give her medication and let her sleep. Not that she ever did.

“Had a good rest, Mia?” Konrad asked from the desk.

“You know I haven’t.”

Konrad was, of course, a crow. Every witch or hexer or whatever had a bird. Mostly owls or eagles or pelicans. She was stuck with a crow.

“You’re clawing your pillow again. Why? You have thumbs. Real thumbs! And you waste them on that? If I had thumbs, do you have any idea, what I could do with them?”

Mia couldn’t help but chuckle. Somehow Konrad was a relaxing presence. The only relaxing presence, the only friend, she had. The rest were all dead.

A dark hollow feeling settled in her gut. That’s what happened, when you tempted the wrong sort. It burrows itself into your life and clings to your memory. Her mind wandered back to that night. She was just hanging out with friends from college. They were having a laugh. And then…

“Careful. Memory of a leech…” Konrad began.

“Becomes a leech, I know. I can’t help it.”

The door opened and tore her back into reality.

“Someone here to see you”, an orderly said.

“Daniel Armitage? He only visits on weekends.”

“Not an Armitage, no. Different lad. Name of Yuri.”

Roman Rivero
Roman Rivero
3 months ago

The Giant Blacksmith
By: Roman Rivero

General Scovica readied his army against The Giant Blacksmith resting on the mountain side. Hands on its stomach with its century old sleep.

All the soldiers could watch how it lied on the mountain, like a gray man resting on a tree, they readied the ballistas and catapults.

The legend of The Giant Blacksmith whose steps could cut continents and hands to resist the Earth’s core for its artillery. If the size wasn’t enough its battle scars of long planted weaponry on its legs and arms of other would be warriors gave it away.

With a quiet command as if the Blacksmith could hear them, he ordered the launch of giant bolts and rocks to pierce and roughen its skin. The few seconds of barrage after barrage bounce and prick the legs of the slumbering monster.

In the silent minutes of awaiting for a response, its head scratched the mountain as it turned to the soldiers. The resting hand of the behemoth slowly rose from its nap and reached high above the soldiers.

Only Scovica stood his ground as the hand reached higher and higher, while the others cowered awaiting the drop. Instead of an impending drop, it went to scratch its head. As it finished nailing off its dirt and hair, The Giant pinched its index and thumb.

The giant’s hand lowered closer to the soldiers. The general’s eyes widened as the hand reached closer to him. He was unflinching as its nails were so close to him it could flick him miles away if it wanted to, but the sound of metal dropping in the dirt floor was what the general was planning for.

A blade from the blacksmith itself. The gift for gathering its attention. Its hand returned to the titan’s belly and fell asleep once more.

It was a rustic long sword with uneven patterns as its blade, General Scovica held it in his hands and felt its power imbue him. The powerful symbol of The Giant was all that was needed, as they began their march home.

Madelyn
Madelyn
3 months ago

“Unexpected Adoption”
By Madelyn

There were a lot of things Damocles expected when he heard someone approaching his lair at one in the morning. This was not one of those things.

“Rider. Whose baby is that?”

Rider looked between the baby in their hands and Damocles. When Rider only gave a shrug, Damocles rubbed his eyes with a clawed hand. When he realized he was still in his true form, he fumbled with his necklace charm so that he was in his human guise. He approached Rider and kissed the top of their helmet.

“I can only do so much for you if you get charged with kidnapping, darling.”

Rider carefully held out the baby to Damocles. When he took the child with the same amount of care, Rider used their free hands to explain, “From what I could tell, she was abandoned.”

Damocles only then realized that the baby was swaddled in the scarf Rider wore that day. “Where did you find this baby, then?”

Rider hesitated before quickly signing, “Garbage.”

Despite Damocles’ own instincts, he took a breath. “I have the other dragon clans to worry about. I don’t think it would be a good environment for the child.”

“What would be a good environment, then?”

Damocles was about to give an answer, then stopped himself. He couldn’t say that an orphanage was a better idea— that would hardly be fair for Rider. He looked back down at the child, then gave a different answer, “I don’t know.”

The two stood in silence as they watched the baby’s breathing.

“If you want to raise her,” Rider broke the silence and pulled out a folded piece of paper. “I thought of a name.”

Damocles thought on it. He still had fears over what growing up in this sort of environment would do to the child. Still, his instincts got the better of him. “We’ll have to make sure this is actually a case of abandonment. Now, what’s our child’s name?”

Rider seemed to beam as they opened up the paper and revealed the name: Reneé.